Sunday, February 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 92, Lakers 86
By Nick Friedell
LOS ANGELES -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 92-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
How it happened: Joakim Noah had another big night for the Bulls, going off for 20 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Kirk Hinrich added 17 points, five assists and four rebounds as the Bulls controlled the game from the opening tip and finished their two-week road swing at 3-3. Chris Kaman had a solid game off the bench for the Lakers, scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
What it means: The Bulls once again relied on Noah and Taj Gibson to get them through this one. The duo has become Tom Thibodeau's go-to source game after game for its ability to affect play on both ends. He trusts both players to be the anchors for his defensive schemes and knows that they have the ability to make plays when they need to do so. While Noah and Gibson's play was the biggest key, Hinrich's performance also has to please the demanding coach. When the Bulls get the type of contributions they received from Noah, Gibson and Hinrich, they can play with most teams in the league. The Lakers are not a very good team, but Thibodeau has to like his squad's fighting spirit considering it played with only nine healthy bodies.
Hits: Gibson had another solid stat line, going for 18 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Misses: Jimmy Butler's shooting woes continue. He was just 4-for-13 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Bulls were a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line.
What's next: The Bulls head back to Chicago to face the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.